New Acquisitions now on show in Domestic Bliss

Two new works gifted to Glasgow Museums’ collection are now on display in Domestic Bliss

Najma Hussein Abukar and Ruth Impey: Home and Hospitality – A City Community Crockery Set
© The artists

Donald Locke: Echo from the Middle Passage #4
© The Estate of Donald Locke

Made locally in Glasgow, Home and Hospitality – A City Community Crockery Set, 2019 by Najma Hussein Abukar and Ruth Impey is on display in a museum for the first time.

Inspired by artist photographer Najma Abukar’s Somali pottery heritage and artist potter Ruth Impey’s research into Scotland’s rich industrial ceramics heritage, this set connects local and global histories. Commissioned by Küche – a  social enterprise promoting integration through food-led initiatives – it celebrates people with immigrant experiences who call this city their home.

On 60 plates and beakers Glasgow people from different countries and cultures shared entangled stories of food, hospitality, and home. Participants were encouraged to wear traditional dress or bring a personal item to the photography session. Their words reflect on attachment and belonging. The selection on display in Domestic Bliss represents voices from Glasgow’s Algerian, British Caribbean, Chinese, Indonesian, Iranian, Italian, Nigerian, Pakistani, Palestinian, Somali, Syrian, Turkish, and Yemeni communities.

Echo from the Middle Passage #4, 2008 by Donald Locke (1930 – 2010) was gifted by the Donald Locke Estate and adds to earlier works by the artist in the collection acquired in 2018 with support from an Art Fund New Collecting Award. The term ‘Middle Passage’ is heavy with historical significance for Caribbean and Black emigrants.  This work continued Donald Locke’s exploration of its legacy in the transatlantic slave trade and his understanding of how it, and associated memories, lingered in his native Guyana, and in Atlanta, USA where he lived. This is the first time the work will be shown in Scotland.

The Estate of Donald Locke said: We are delighted that this later work by Donald Locke joins earlier works by the artist in the Glasgow Museums’ collection particularly while the city examines its connections to Empire and slavery. The Middle Passage is the title of V S Naipaul’s 1962 travelogue, The book covers a year-long trip he took through Trinidad, British Guiana, Suriname, Martinique, and Jamaica in 1961. It also refers to the middle leg of a three-part voyage between Europe and Africa and the Caribbean, in which captured peoples were forced to make the dangerous voyage across the oceans. The St Lucian poet and Nobel Prize winner, Derek Walcott refers to “The Sea (as) History”, the ocean as the “Black Atlantic”.

All this background would have been absorbed by Donald in his sculptures and in his writings over the years. Echo of the Middle Passage was a series of mixed media sculptures Donald produced around 2008, comprising seven extant sculptures, all of which had a substantial ceramic form with other materials.

Najma Hussein Abukar said: It is wonderful to have Home and Hospitality displayed at GoMA, for everyone to have the opportunity to see the artwork and the stories that accompany it. Proud moment for me.

Ruth Impey said: I’m really delighted that Home and Hospitality is part of the collection and what an honour to have it displayed at GoMA. It was a joy to work with Najma to make the set and draw on the ceramic history and heritage of Scotland and Somalia to create the shape and designs of the beakers and plates questioning what home means.

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